Dr. Kersey Travels to China Part 2

Dr. Kersey Travels to China Part 2

May 29 – June 1, 2017: Chengdu Base Prior to this trip the Chengdu staff asked for my input on a study they wanted to conduct to investigate the hormonal factors associated with breeding and parenthood.  Via email we developed a plan and arranged for me to validate the hormone analyses while I was in China.  Over the course of several days I would design the validation steps and analyze the results at the Chengdu Base, and Jessica worked with the staff in the lab to carry out the wet lab procedures.  Although we were only able to complete about 95% of the validation procedures ourselves, we left in place very simple procedures to complete the validation the day after we left.  Additionally, Jessica developed protocols for the study tailored to the equipment and supplies of the Chengdu Base laboratory. Because Jessica handled the lab procedures of the study validation described above, I was able to spend one-on-one time with the Chengdu Base endocrinologist about the theory and practices behind validation.  Additionally, we were able to review the application of the knowledge throughout the week as results came in from the validation procedures Jessica was carrying out.  As a result of this integrated effort the Chengdu Base staff were able to grasp the knowledge and skills involved in validation. Finally, the long-standing contributions I have made to the hormone lab at the Chengdu Base prompted discussions of future studies we could conduct on the giant panda, with relation to reproduction and well-being. Conclusion of the Chengdu Base portion of the trip:  The ability to work with staff on theory while Jessica was able to follow through with laboratory work is ideal for intensive training in hormone monitoring techniques.  Although I have provided training to the staff in years past, there are many aspects of this methodology that are still evolving and even I have to take time out of my own research to learn new techniques and methodologies.  However, I think the training at the Chengdu Base was fruitful and the collaborations set up from this trip will bear fruit [...]

Dr. Kersey Travels to China Part 1

This journal is my summary of providing training and setting up research projects at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) Dujiangyan Base (DJY) and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Chengdu Base) starting May 22nd and ending June 2nd, 2017. I have long-standing relationships with both facilities/organizations in the capacity of setting up and providing training on hormone monitoring techniques for giant pandas, particularly with regard to breeding. The purpose of the DJY portion of the trip was to provide follow-up training on endocrine monitoring techniques and set up a study that will permit accurate measurement of hormones in the feces of giant pandas in the wild. The purpose of the Chengdu Base portion of the trip was likewise to provide additional training on hormone monitoring techniques, set up a study to assess the hormone changes associated with parenthood and breeding, and discuss future research projects. In my summary below I will provide further detail about the activities for each facility, however before I do so I want to acknowledge that this trip would have not been possible without the generosity of Pandas International (PI).  PI has not only supported efforts for the betterment of giant pandas in China, but have also supported my activities in China; to that end I am deeply appreciative.  Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the invaluable help provided by my assistant on this trip, Dr. Jessica Coote.  Dr. Coote worked in my lab when she was a student and was willing to utilize her vacation time to assist me in training and lab work during this trip.  Finally, Western University of Health Sciences continues to support my time in these endeavors, for which I am very grateful. May 24 – 26, 2017: DJY Part of the impetus behind this trip came from DJY staff in wanting to conduct hormone monitoring studies of giant pandas in the wild, but in full recognition that there are limitations to such studies.  One such limitation is the degradation of hormones in the feces once voided.  Not accounting for these post-voidance alterations [...]

Sarah Helps the Giant Pandas

Sarah made a sign for her campaign and her pet pandas helped.  With her passion for saving pandas, she raised $50.00 for Pennies 4 Pandas.  She set up a booth at her ice skating exhibition and invited guests to donate during her birthday party. This was her first time raising money for any type of cause, she looks forward to having greater success in the future. Thank you Sarah for helping the Giant Pandas.

El Camino High School’s Animal Club Helps the Pandas

El Camino High School’s Animal Club had a vision to help save beloved giant pandas from extinction. We were determined to raise funds in support of Pandas International, even if it meant one coin at a time. From there, we thought of the slogan--Pennies For Pandas. Our club members came together and made unique donation jars. We asked members to carry jars around schools and hopefully raise some funds from classmates and teachers. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about the cause and explain the critical situation pandas were facing. In addition we raised awareness through school posters and announcements. We were pleasantly surprised by the numerous support we received from our school community. In the end we counted over $200 . ECHS Animal Club is happy to help out Pandas International. One penny at a time. Thank you to everyone at ECHS Animal Club for helping to save the Giant Pandas.

Logan Helps the Pandas

Logan is 5 years old and a huge Giant Panda fan. She found Pandas International when she was looking for ideas on how she could help the animals she loves so much. She was so happy to find that Pandas International is so close to Denver. She read about Pennies 4 Pandas, and since then, Logan was determined to raise some money to help. She decided to clean out her old toys and sell them. With her idea, she managed to raise 59 dollars to donate to Pandas International! We are so proud of her. She has already spread the word about Pandas and is also working on another fundraising idea with a friend. Thank you Logan for your generosity and help with saving the Giant Pandas.

Aiden Raises $458!

Aiden turned 8 yrs old on April 9. Aiden has many gifts and one of those gifts is Autism. His autism allows him to focus on certain things with great interest and one of those things for him are Panda's! Aiden loves learning about everything Panda! This year for his birthday he has asked that he not receive gifts but donations to help protect his beloved Panda's. One day we will make to it to China for Aiden to study and visit with Pandas in their natural habitat. Thank you for all that you do to protect and educate about these amazing animals! Through Aiden's birthday party he was able to raise $458!  These donations will help to purchase almost 16 pounds of formula to help feed the cubs and elderly pandas at the panda centers in China!  Thank you Aiden for caring so much about the Pandas and for making such a big difference.

Josie Makes a Difference

Josie is an American girl with a difference...  She's never lived in America!  For her 11th birthday, she wanted to do something important... something for animals...  Even though she currently lives in Kenya and there are many animals there that need help, Josie decided to ask her friends to help her save the pandas instead of giving her gifts.  Her 8 friends donated a total of $150 which her parents agreed to match, raising a total of $300 for Pandas International! Thank you Josie for caring about the Pandas and for being so generous!

Panda Protectors Raise Over $400!!

Some friends and I were reading some books on pandas and thought it would be good to help them. Then my friend Kaylee told me about Pandas International. Soon we had raised about $100. Then, more people wanted to help. We went door to door and did a Save the Pandas stand. Our goal was $200. We are proud to have raised $420. We love your work to help the pandas! Sincerely, Alexa, Ishaan, Kaylee, Alana, Lucy, Emma, and Cassie Thank you to all of you for helping the Giant Pandas!

Gemma, Charlotte, Clara and Neave Raise $284!

Gemma, Charlotte, Clara and Neave are all 10 years old and Carlogi Primary School. They wrote a letter to their head teacher asking if they could do a bake sale at school to raise money for Pennies for Pandas. They all love Pandas so much. Their teacher said yes so they arranged a date and got busy baking and asking friends to help too. This all happened within a few weeks and they held their bake sale one morning at school and raised £228 ($284) which is a great amount. They had lots of fun and enjoyed eating some cakes themselves! Thank you girls for helping to save the Giant Pandas!